Investing in a refrigerator is a task that should be taken seriously. Some of them can thousands of dollars, so you probably do not want to end up with a crappy unit. Failing to find the best refrigerator for your needs can lead to numerous problems including lack of storage and sometimes (and the worst) rotten food items. No one certainly wants any of those. This is why we at SolidSmack carefully examined 5 of our best refrigerator finds on Amazon this year.
Together with the entire crew of the SolidSmack Home Appliance and Tool Research Team, we tried and analyzed the performance of each product. Though our picks are mainly focusing on the ones that will give you the best bang for your buck, we also considered greatly the quality of the product. In this matter, we also checked the number of food compartments and sections, controls, layout, design, and their special features. By highlighting our main observations about the things mentioned, we aim to give you valuable insights on what to get before deciding on your purchase.
With the most boxes ticked, the LG InstaView certainly is the best pick. Not only does it boasts incredible features from tinted viewing glass to door-in-door, but it also offers the best system by employing 3 cooling technologies. As for the layout and storage space, it is also a winner. Due to its nature as a French-door model, accessing everything is flawless. There are nonetheless other models like this worth checking out such as the Haier HRQ16N3BGS and the SMETA counter-depth unit.
We also considered simple refrigerator models for those who are just looking for basic and practical features. During our search, we also stumbled upon a versatile refrigerator model that can also work as a table, charging station, and speaker. To know more about them, let’s dive in and find out what we have discovered during our products tests:
1. LG InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Refrigerator
24 cu. ft.
3 (with door-in-door)
InstaView, door-in-door, Craft Ice, & ThinQ app
LG InstaView is probably the “refrigerator of the future” due to the considerable number of convenient and smart features integrated into it. First are the three cooling systems being employed by the refrigerator: linear cooling, door cooling, and smart cooling. With the three combined, our test witnessed an unrivaled cooling process from one corner to the end.
We also love its layout from exterior to interior. Besides the beautiful stainless steel finish, it has well-thought-out inner layout details. One of these is the InstaView feature which comes in a form of tinted glass. With two gentle knocks, the glass lights up which will let you see the items inside the refrigerator without opening it. It is installed in the door-in-door feature of the unit which can prevent the release of too much cold air when you open it. There’s also an adjustable bin behind the door-in-door which easily glides up and down!
Further, besides the numerous food sections, the refrigerator sports LG’s exclusive Craft Ice built inside the freezer compartment. This creates rounded ice perfect for bourbon and other beverages. You can even make some adjustments to its production speed by accessing the ThinQ app! You can also access remotely the temperature setting of the refrigerator using the app. To top it all off, you also have the option for crushed or cube ice and you can easily access it using the dispenser built on the door of the unit. The water dispenser also now allows measured fills. Even better, the dispenser is 12.6” tall we even managed to fit an average-sized pitcher!
2. Haier HRQ16N3BGS Refrigerator
16.4 cu. ft.
Sabbath mode, multiple freezer compartments
This Haier refrigerator might seem a bit too simple for some but it is one of the most sought models on the market. With a total of 16.4 cu. ft. capacity, this counter-depth refrigerator can deliver a one-of-a-kind storage system. Our team who conducted the test personally adores its freezer section that is divided into six compartments. This allows you to be organized even in your frozen goods. There are 4 sliding freezer bins and 2 sliding freezer drawers. The bins are even encapsulated to prevent spills and to contain the odor of each food item. The crispers were also pretty effective when we tried it on some leafy greens and vegetables and fruits that easily go bad.
Further, changing the temperature settings is pretty instant, thanks to its capacitive touch display feature on the upper right door of the unit. With each push, you can instantly increase or decrease the temperature by a degree. Besides the basic functions included such as the Quick Freeze, there’s also a Sabbath mode that will complement Sabbath-observing practices.
3. SMETA Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator
22.5 cu. ft.
temperature alarm, built-in ice maker, spacious compartments
What our team really adores about this SMETA French-door refrigerator is its layout and effective double-flow cooling system. Besides the fact that there is a generous number of compartments for all kinds of food items and drinks, the cooling system itself is very consistent and reliable. When the team checked it, each section managed to maintain the respective temperature levels set for them. There’s even an alarm that can alert you when something goes off in its temperature setting!
As for its layout, true 5-star rating. As said, it has plenty of compartments. Really plenty. From the refrigerator to the freezer section, you can store an incredible number of items. We love how spacious the bottle and can compartments that are built on both two upper doors. There is two crisper storage and they are truly spacious, as well!
There are also lots of other things to praise about it, especially its exterior. Made of stainless steel shell with a smooth finish, it showcases a modern design that homeowners would love. We also praise its semi-minimalist style with its bottom handleless drawers.
4. Galanz Retro Dual-Door Refrigerator
Available in 7.4, 7.6, 10.0, and 12.0 cu. ft.
If you are into retro style and all you need is a refrigerator with a basic compartment layout, This Galanz dual-door unit is for you. Available in blue, red, white, black, and retro red, this unit can create give your kitchen the vibe of the 70s. From the handles to the shape and finish, it is indeed visually appealing.
On the other side of the coin, its performance won’t disappoint. When tested, we realized that its cooling system isn’t as fast as the other leading items such as the LG and Haier. Nonetheless, it still does the job and it can still efficiently cool all compartments. It also has a thermostat dial in the refrigerator section that you can use to manually adjust the temperature. It isn’t as impressive as the touchscreen option of Primst, Haier, and LG but it is very intuitive and simple.
Meanwhile, despite its size and nature as a two-door refrigerator, we still find it very spacious for a good number of food items from bottles to meat and fruits. Even the doors are maximized for extreme storage functions. Besides the special compartment for condiments and tall bottles, there’s also a special holder for canned beverages!
5. Primst Smart Refrigerator & Table
charging station, speaker, and touchscreen table controls
This Primst refrigerator is one of the best Amazon discoveries our team has ever experienced. We commonly opt for conventional models and designs but with the versatility of this unit and its numerous features all packed in a table design, this is worth considering.
What first attracted us to give it a try is its unique design that combines the function of a table and refrigerator. As a matter of fact, at first glance, we couldn’t believe that it is a refrigerator system until we had the chance to inspect it. Inside, it has two refrigerator drawers with a 130-liter capacity. Of course, it isn’t much, especially if you would compare it to other options we reviewed. Yet, it is still very efficient in its function as a refrigerator. Despite integrating various functions, it doesn’t fail to impress as a cooling appliance. During our test, it managed to reach the temperature we set pretty fast.
Further, as said, it isn’t just a refrigerator as it can also work as a Bluetooth speaker and a charging station for your phones and tablet. The settings for the volume can be accessed using the built-in touch controls on the surface of the table. This is where you’ll also find the setting for the drawer temperatures ranging from 1 to 12℃. The controls are very responsive and the fact that it is sealed with a tempered glass top. It also lets you control the LED light, time, playback, and more!
Best Refrigerators - Buyer's Guide
Refrigerators nowadays come in different designs and models. Apparently, the simpler the design, the cheaper they are. Top freezer types are the most common and they are one of the cheapest just like the compact units. Take Galanz Retro as an example. However, such a design means limited storage space. If you want something more spacious, you might want to consider side-by-side and French-door types which are common designed with bigger bodies. One example is the LG InstaView.
Refrigerators with bigger bodies offer spacious storage space. However, space isn’t the only thing to mind when looking for a unit. According to one of our in-house appliance experts, it is also important to check the integrated and built-in compartments, sections, and dispensers in the refrigerator. This won’t just help you in maximizing the storage space, but it will also help you to be more organized in keeping your food items.
More and more households are looking for counter-depth designs to save more space. If you are one of those, make sure to check first the space in the kitchen counter you need to fill in. Once you are certain, look for the unit that suits it and confirm to the manufacturer/dealer the dimensions of the unit. You don’t want a refrigerator that is too big or too small for the space you have in your kitchen.
Refrigerators prevent meat and other food items from going bad by keeping them in storage under low temperatures. While all refrigerators can do it, not all are efficient and consistent in this job. For instance, the ones we tested above are capable of establishing low temperatures but not every model cools at the same speed.
Also, it is better if there are special features that can make the performance of the cooling system more efficient. For instance, the LG InstaView utilizes three technologies. One for keeping the circulation of cold air properly distributed in the entire space, one for keeping the production of cold air continuous and fast, and one for monitoring the temperature inside. This is where LG InstaView excels, not to mention that you can also access every setting temperature and features using an app on your phone.
Best Refrigerators - FAQs
During delivery, refrigerators experience shaking movements that can disturb the system inside including the fluid responsible for the cooling process. In this case, it is important to let everything settle before plugging them in. To be safe, give them at least 4 hours before use.
While most latest models now automatically do the defrosting process, there are still units that employ manual defrosting. In this case, defrost the refrigerator whenever you see around a quarter of an inch of ice build-up.
The best thing about refrigerators is that they can last for at least 13 years, as reported by the National Association of Home Builders. However, this still depends on the quality of the unit and how you take care of it.
Apparently, replacing the compressor would cost just around $200 to $500. It is cheaper than buying a new unit. However, replacing the compressor won’t ensure that the whole problem of the unit would be fixed, especially if the refrigerator is already old.